Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Closest Book Meme

(Image borrowed from jaegamer over at LiveJournal. The meme sheep idea comes from my writing friend JunoMagic.)

This meme was stolen from zeegrindylows and JunoMagic.

  • Grab the nearest book.
  • Open the book to page 56.
  • Find the fifth sentence.
  • Post the text of the next two to five sentences in your journal along with these instructions.
  • Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.

Well, I highly doubt I would have been able to find anything that would have fulfilled the requirements of this meme from Episcopal Music Planning Guides, so I grabbed the next best thing that's not a hymnal or the Book of Common Prayer.

Sigh. It figures. I pull out a book of poetry, and the fifth sentence on page 56 bleeds on to page 57.

Here is it anyway.

A portion of Only Death by Pablo Neruda, translated to English by Donald D. Walsh

I know little, I am not well acquainted, I can scarcely see,
but I think that her song has the colour of moist violets,
of violets accustomed to the earth,
because the face of death is green,
and the gaze of death is green,
with the sharp dampness of a violet leaf
and its dark colour of exasperated winter.

But death also goes through the world dressed as a broom,
she licks the ground looking for corpses,
death is in the broom,
it is death's tongue looking for dead bodies,
it is death's needle looking for thread.

Death is in the cots:
in the slow mattresses, in the black blankets
she lives stretched out, and she suddenly blows:
she blows a dark sound that puffs out sheets,
and there are beds sailing to a port
where she is waiting, dressed as an admiral.

From: The Poetry of Pablo Neruda, Ed. Ilan Stavans, Farrar, Straus and Giroux: New York, 2003

I'm tagging anyone who reads this, either on LJ or on Blogger, as this is being posted at both places.


Jason Pennington said...

A fellow Neruda fan!! Outstanding! That line is awesome: "the face of death is green". Reminds me very much of Bryant's "Thanatopsis".


Lyn F. said...

Isn't he wonderful? This is one time where I'm sorry I can't read (or speak or write) Spanish, despite my name.

So Jason - what book lurks on your bookshelf that you can share with the blogosphere? :-)